Despite auditing and taking to task officials in government ministries, departments and agencies yearly, it has been revealed that the National Audit Office (Nao)—the country’s supposed pinnacle of public finance management assurance—has gone four years without being audited.
This was revealed in Lilongwe on Tuesday when acting Auditor General Thomas Makiwa appeared before members of the Budget and Finance and Public Accounts Cluster of Parliament.
Makiwa told lawmakers that his office too needed to be audited as per the law.
The law requires that Parliament engages an external auditor to audit Nao annually.
Public Accounts Committee (Pac) Chairperson Shadreck Namalomba confirmed that Nao had not been audited for some time.
Namalomba attributed the development to lack of funds and the coronavirus threat.
He observed that, from 2015, Pac had a partnership arrangement with KfW, a Germany-based project, which supported Pac in identifying as well as paying external auditors who audited Nao.
“With the phasing off of the KfW Project in 2018, the committee had tried to engage other development partners to support the committee in that regard, to no avail. The General Elections of 2019 as well as the pandemic of Covid disrupted the committee’s efforts to quickly identify a partner and timely conduct the audits.
“We have now been left with one option of doing it ourselves and we have already devised the Terms of Reference for the audit. Soon, we will post in the mainstream media the adverts for Expression of Interest to audit Nao. The auditors to be identified will conduct audits for 2018/2019, 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 financial years,” Namalomba said.